Most people don't know it, but the fate of the world is at stake this December. The UN is holding a Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark where the world's leaders will decide whether there will be any framework at all on limiting carbon emissions before the Kyoto protocol expires and the before the amount of carbon in the atmosphere climbs to even higher, and harder to reverse levels.
While this might sound abstract, bureaucratic or boring, this global gathering will determine the future of our planet. The effects of global warming are already lapping at the world's shores, destroying species, threatening cities, and encroaching on our ability to produce food. This is real, and this is happening.
But it is not all doom and gloom.
Hopenhagen.org is working to connect every person, city and nation with what is happening at the conference in Copenhagen, believing that citizens can help push the fate of the planet down a positive path by showing political leaders that the citizens of world passionately want them to reach an agreement that would limit how much carbon emissions each country would produce. Leaders are shying away from making these commitments, and Hopenhagen.org wants to show there is a strong political will to set emissions targets -- which would mean more green jobs, and a more sustainable future for people everywhere.
At Hopenhagen.org, people can become a citizen of the Nation of Hopenhagen by signing a petition, learning about grassroots climate efforts and spreading the word to their own communities.
This message of action, bringing people together and spreading hope is why HuffPost Green is teaming up with Hopenhagen.org for an exciting citizen journalism contest.
WHAT: We are sending a HuffPost citizen journalist to Copenhagen for the climate conference as the Hopenhagen Ambassador, to represent the global nation of people who are hopeful that leaders will come to an agreement.
THE PRIZE: The winner will receive a trip to Copenhagen from December 12-19th! This will include airfare, accommodation, press accreditation for the UN conference, Media training with HuffPost Citizen journalism editor Matt Palevsky, HuffPost blogging privileges, and a flip camera to record events.
But with great privilege comes great responsibility:
The duties of the Hopenhagen Ambassador will include:
Representing the people of Hopenhagen to the media and at official events throughout the week, reporting on events in blogs and videos posts for HuffPost while in Copenhagen, doing celebrity interviews, and spreading the message of hope throughout his or her personal and social networks.
WHO: Anyone over 18 can enter the contest -- you just need to upload a one minute campaign video for why you should elected ambassador. click here for the full contest rules.
Watch the contestants' videos here.
Watch this video for more information on what we're looking for.
UPDATED DEADLINES: We are letting HuffPost readers pick the ten best candidates. The voting part of the contest will run from November 18th through December 4nd. We'll stop accepting new entries on December 2nd at midnight. We'll notify ten finalists that are being considered by December 5th by our panel of judges, which will include Arianna Huffington, Laurie David, Green Editor Katherine Goldstein, Citizen Journalism Editor Matthew Palevsky and others to be announced. We will contact the finalists through their YouTube or Facebook accounts (be sure you check those!) The winner will be announced Monday December 7th.
Videos will be published on HuffPost Green, where viewers can vote on who they think should be the Hopenhagen Ambassador. Candidates are encouraged to mobilize their networks of friends, twitter followers (use the hashtag #votehope), and even seek out celebrity or organizational endorsements for their candidacy. Be creative, get attention for yourself and the cause of bringing hope to Copenhagen.
ENDORSEMENTS: We encourage candidates to gather endorsements from notable blogs and environmental organizations that might lend weight to one's candidacy. You'll see the endorsers listed below each candidate's video. To file an endorsement, an organization or blog simply needs to link to a candidate's video page on our Hopenhagen Ambassador slideshow and explain why they are endorsing. Then email us the link here with the "Endorsement of [Name]" in the headline. We will stop accepting endorsements on December 4.
We're not doing endorsements from individuals, because that could get unwieldy. To file an endorsement, an org/blog just needs to link to the video somewhere on their website, with a message about why their endorsing. Then send the link to us at this email address and we'll publish the endorsement within 24 hours.
Submit your video using the YouTube Direct uploader below. You will be briefly redirected to YouTube in order to verify your account, before coming back to this page to upload your video. You can also link to a video that already exists on your YouTube account. Put your full name as the title, a short description of your qualifications and press submit. You'll see the video on HuffPost Green within 24 hours.
Watch the contestants' videos here.